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Indonesian Supreme Court clears Suharto

JAKARTA, Indonesia (CNN) -- In a surprise move that will have dramatic implications for Indonesia's fight against corruption, Indonesia's Supreme Court Monday overturned a guilty verdict sentencing Tommy Suharto, the youngest son of former president Suharto, to 18 months in jail for graft.

"He cannot be held responsible for those actions." Supreme Court Justice Taufiq said on local television station, Metro TV, "He cannot be declared as an accused."

The new ruling means that Tommy Suharto was found free of any wrongdoing. Taufiq said one of the factors in the decision was the fact that Tommy Suharto was not involved in the day-to-day management of the company allegedly involved in the graft case.

Tommy Suharto was, until this new ruling, Indonesia's most wanted fugitive, disappearing from the public eye in November when a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Police say they will continue to search for Tommy Suharto in connection with two other cases -- a series of bombings in the capital and the assassination of Supreme Court Judge Syaifuddin Kartasasmita, the judge who initially convicted Tommy Suharto.

Police say they have detained several suspects who have connected Tommy Suharto to the murder. Suharto family members insist that Tommy Suharto is innocent and have tried to convince him to turn himself in.

From Atika Shubert


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